Review of Seth Godin’s “Knock Knock”

Knock KnockGood read. Informative, interesting, clear. No BS.

Its even free.

I just finished reading Seth Godin’s free ebook “Knock Knock – Seth Godin’s Incomplete Guide to Building a Web Site that Works“. I think it was a nice basic overview, and a bit of an eye opener. For me, it wasn’t so much a matter of information and ideas that I didn’t know – I came into it already agreeing with what he said – but rather it was a clear smack in the back of the head to tell me to stop thinking those things and actually do them.

Too often I start fighting the good fight for clear, action-oriented web design, but I give way to the desire to create a page that is all things to all people. People are not patient. Shoot, me most of all. In this sense, it was similar to The Big Red Fez, which uses the fun monkey and banana scenario.

The book took me no more than 45 minutes to read, and that was while half-checking email and such. Nice examples too. Now I just need to exercise a little discipline and make sure to put those principles into action.

Most sites have 1, maybe 2 clear objectives:

  • Buy something.
  • Contact us.
  • Request a Quote.
  • Get Help.
  • Give us your email address.

That’s not to say that pages like the ever-interesting “about the company” and “news” pages are worthless. They aren’t. But they should support the goals listed above. The point of every page should be to bring you to another stage in the process, and ultimately (as streamlined as possible) to the action point. It may take me viewing a few pages about the product, company, etc. before I’m ready to buy. That’s fine. But at least steer me in that direction.

I particularly like one statement Seth made when comparing the visual appearance of two sites, and how they each do or don’t suit the market they are targeting:

If the first page were a person, how would it dress? Would you talk to him if he met you in a bar? In a bank?

Nothing new really, but still a nice, quick read. Good examples, good “large picture” overview. I recommend. Its well worth the 30-60 minutes it’ll take you to read it.

Knock Knock – PDF
Knock Knock – Blog Post

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